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Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society 
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Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society
A Vindication of Natural Society: or, a View of the Miseries and Evils arising to Mankind from every Species of Artifical Society. In a Letter to Lord *** by a Late Noble Writer,* ed. Frank N. Pagano (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1982). Author: Edmund Burke
About This Title:
Edmund Burke’s first work, originally issued anonymously in 1756 as a letter attributed to “a late noble writer.” The Vindication is a political and social satire ridiculing the popular enlightenment notion of a pre-civil “natural society.”
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Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society
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libertyfund. 2010) 4 http://oll.org/title/850 .Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Table Of Contents Preface A Letter to Lord???? PLL v5 (generated January 22.
if the Author could succeed. they cannot want a Number of Admirers of as much Docility as can be wished for in Disciples. without the Exertion of any considerable Forces. all these were certainly disappointed. and in a Stile above the common.libertyfund. and require some of them at least. by the Instruments which they employ. had retired to employ those Talents in the Investigation of Truth. sapped with great Art and much Ingenuity. by exploding his Providence. The Design was. in which. are found to prevail throughout the Writings of Lord Bolingbroke. That it is far more easy to maintain a wrong Cause. and our Reliance on God. and such are the Reasonings which this noble Writer and several others have been pleased to dignify with the Name of Philosophy. in short. and with great Pomp. those who looked for new Helps to Society and Government. might be employed with equal Success for the Subversion of Government. Those who searched in them for new Discoveries in the Mysteries of Nature. those who desired to see the Characters and Passions of Mankind delineated. or by Happiness or Misery hereafter? Do they imagine they shall increase our Piety. and to support paradoxical Opinions to the Satisfaction of a common PLL v5 (generated January 22. and that specious Arguments might be used against those Things which they. In the Midst of these pleasing Expectations. who from the splendid Scene of Action.org/title/850 .Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society [Back to Table of Contents] PREFACE Before the Philosophical Works of Lord Bolingbroke had appeared. those who expected something which might explain or direct the Operations of the Mind. all who consider such Things as Philosophy. the same Engines which were employed for the Destruction of Religion. that nothing could be more fatal to Mankind than his Success? I cannot conceive how this sort of Writers propose to compass the Designs they pretend to have in view. and of all Government. in a sort of sullen Labour. in seeing every Mode of Religion attacked in a lively Manner. and the Foundation of every Virtue. will never permit to be questioned. What Advantage do we derive from such Writings? What Delight can a Man find in employing a Capacity which might be usefully exerted for the noblest Purposes. and insisting that he is neither just nor good? Such are the Doctrines which. To these the Editor of the following little Piece has addressed it: there is no Reason to conceal the Design of it any longer. those who hoped to see Morality illustrated and enforced. they found the Land-marks of Science precisely in their former Places: And they thought they received but a poor Recompense for this Disappointment. by proving him no better than a Beast? Do they think to enforce the Practice of Virtue. Philosophy began to congratulate herself upon such a Proselyte from the World of Business. in every philosophical Work. he is obliged to own. It is an Observation which I think Isocrates makes in one of his Orations against the Sophists. sometimes concealed. If these are delivered in a specious Manner. sometimes openly and fully avowed. 2010) 5 http://oll. Do they pretend to exalt the Mind of Man. the Works themselves at last appeared in full Body. to shew that. who doubt of every thing else. in which his Talents had enabled him to make so conspicuous a Figure. and hoped to have extended her Power under the Auspices of such a Leader. great Things were expected from the Leisure of a Man. by denying that Vice and Virtue are distinguished by good or ill Fortune here.
they have thought utterly indefensible. it was not his Design to say all that could possibly be said. There is an Air of Plausibility which accompanies vulgar Reasonings and Notions taken from the beaten Circle of ordinary Experience.libertyfund. This had undoubtedly been a very ample Subject for PLL v5 (generated January 22. Even in Matters which are. is to be made. And it very frequently happens. we might with as good Colour. even after the Understanding has been satisfied of their unsubstantial Nature. though I do not know from whence he has taken it: “Interdum fucata falsitas. of more Consequence than the apparent Design. as it were. just within our Reach. and that if we were to examine the divine Fabricks by our Ideas of Reason and Fitness. of its subordinate Rank in the Creation.org/title/850 . their Measures and their Method of Arrangement. [says he] in multis est probabilior. Some Persons have thought that the Advantages of the State of Nature ought to have been more fully displayed. but which neither belongs to. than to establish a doubtful Truth by solid and conclusive Arguments. and to the Laziness of others. 2010) 6 http://oll. This is a Fairy Land of Philosophy. When Men find that something can be said in favour of what. charmed and captivated to find such a plentiful Harvest of Reasoning. that it would not be difficult to criticise the Creation itself. There is a sort of Gloss upon ingenious Falsehoods. et sæpe rationibus vincit nudam veritatem. rested upon having their Reasons made clear and demonstrative to every Individual? The Editor knows that the Subject of this Letter is not so fully handled as obviously it might. nor would such an Abuse have been tolerable even for a few Pages.” In such Cases. and with the same Success. by the Impetuosity that always accompanies an Attack. when a painful. that dazzles the Imagination. had not been carried on. his Ingenuity will be sure of Applause. not only for Arguments. and the Foundations of Society. if some Under-plot. make the Wisdom and Power of God in his Creation appear to many no better than Foolishness. and this Alacrity becomes much greater if he acts upon the offensive. comprehensive Survey of a very complicated Matter. nor becomes the sober Aspect of Truth. that those pleasing Impressions on the Imagination. that is admirably suited to the narrow Capacities of some.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Auditory. and to use the same Method of Attack by which some Men have assaulted Revealed Religion. they run along with the Speaker. the Writer has a certain Fire and Alacrity inspired into him by a Consciousness. I have met with a Quotation in Lord Coke's Reports that pleased me very much. or we do nothing. and of the extreme Danger of letting the Imagination loose upon some Subjects may very plausibly attack every thing the most excellent and venerable. when we must go out of the Sphere of our ordinary Ideas. and the unfortunate Propensity which Mankind have to the finding and exaggerating Faults. And this we must do. they are thrown into a sort of pleasing Surprize. what would become of the World if the Practice of all moral Duties. when we must seek in a profound Subject. and which requires a great Variety of Considerations. subsist and produce their Effect. on the very Proposal. but for new Materials of Argument. that let it fare how it will with the Subject. whenever we examine the Result of a Reason which is not our own. The Editor is satisfied that a Mind which has no Restraint from a Sense of its own Weakness. But this Advantage is in great measure lost. they grow doubtful of their own Reason. It had been inexcusable to fill a large Volume with the Abuse of Reason. and when we can never walk sure but by being sensible of our Blindness. where all seemed barren and unpromising.
or in Method be found. 2010) 7 http://oll. than they are like to find of that rapid Torrent of an impetuous and overbearing Eloquence. The Writers against Religion. whilst they oppose every System. are wisely careful never to set up any of their own.org/title/850 . but they do not consider the Character of the Piece. in Reasoning. and the Variety of rich Imagery for which that Writer is justly admired. observe much more of his Lordship's Character in such Particulars of the following Letter. the Editor is afraid. perhaps these will not be looked upon as Faults by the Admirers of Lord Bolingbroke. who will. If some Inaccuracies in Calculation.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Declamation. PLL v5 (generated January 22.libertyfund.
(in spite of the Boasts of Stoicism they are Evils) and every Endeavor which the Art and Policy of Mankind has used from the Beginning of the World to this Day. Want of Union. or as some love to call it. The Body. and their Effects. to know whether any Proposition be true or false. He has mixed in his Cup a Number of natural Evils. or to aggravate and inflame the old. and am still of the same Opinion. that the Curiosity of this Search might endanger the Ruin of the whole Fabrick. we might be carried insensibly and irresistably farther than at first we could either have imagined or wished. is dangerous. you thought. that having once entered upon these Reasonings. and that. is wiser in its own plain Way. Besides this. You would readily have allowed my Principle. you were inclined to the Party which you adopted rather by the Feelings of your good Nature. It finds out imaginary Beings prescribing imaginary Laws. These were the Reasons which induced me to go so far into that Enquiry. it is a preposterous Method to examineit by its apparent Consequences. I had indeed often reflected on that Subject before I could prevail upon myself to communicate my Reflections to any body. and not Truth of any kind. but enough has not been said upon the Restraint which our bodily Necessities ought to lay on the extravagant Sublimities. Mankind was subjected to many and great Inconveniencies. These were Evils which they could not but have felt pretty severely on many Occasions. their Origin. it raises imaginary Terrors to support a Belief in the Beings. on the Subjection in which we should preserve our Bodies to the Government of our Understanding.org/title/850 . 2010) 8 http://oll. and you feared. and excentrick Rovings of our Minds. that in our late Conversation. than by the Conviction of your Judgment? We laid open the Foundations of Society. and then. They were generally melancholy enough. has only served to introduce new Mischiefs. that Error. the Mind of Man itself is too active and restless a Principle ever to settle on the true Point of Quiet. but you dreaded the Consequences. that ill Conclusions can only flow from false Propositions. In the State of Nature. did not at the same Time administer the Comfort.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society [Back to Table of Contents] A Letter To Lord???? Shall I venture to say. But for my part. in order to alleviate. as those usually are which carry us beyond the mere Surface of Things. my Lord. I have sometimes been in a good deal more than Doubt. and which would undoubtedly make the Lives of all thinking Men extremely miserable. and very well undoubtedly. On considering political Societies. which really wants but little. their Constitution. and they are the Reasons which direct me in all my Enquiries. Want of a common Arbitrator to resort to in their Differences. and attends its own Business more directly than the Mind with all its boasted Subtilty.libertyfund. or cure them. and an Obediance to the Laws. without question. Many Things have been said. my Lord. It discovers every Day some craving Want in a Body. Want of mutual Assistance. The original Children of the Earth lived PLL v5 (generated January 22. if the same Philosophy which caused the Grief. our inferior Nature. It every Day invents some new artificial Rule to guide that Nature which if left to itself were the best and surest Guide. I then thought. whether the Creator did ever really intend Man for a State of Happiness.
and of ecclesiastical Tyranny under the Name of Church Government. all Mankind have gradually fallen. under the Name of Religion.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society with their Brethren of the other Kinds in much Equality. upon the Knowledge of those unalterable Relations which Providence has ordained that every thing should bear to every other. yet the Discovery might be productive of the most dangerous Consequences. And since it has so happened. and the little Liberty and rational Happiness we enjoy. There is a most absurd and audacious Method of reasoning avowed by some Bigots and Enthusiasts. say they. because. or oppose our own Interests. tho’ they would be found without any reasonable Support. that is. have been clearly and usefully exposed. I shall call Natural Society. founded in natural Appetites and Instincts. And as Nature has formed no Bond of Union to hold them together. 2010) 9 http://oll. introduced first the Notion of Society. civil Societies. not to be satisfied with any reasonable Acquirement. To these we should conform in good Earnest. should be likewise the only Measures by which we should direct our Reasoning. Their Diet must have been confined almost wholly to the vegetable Kind. but to lose all we have gained by an insatiable Pursuit after more. but Man would go farther. and succeeded. and Folly. we shall consider these Institutions with all that Modesty with which we ought to conduct ourselves in examining a received Opinion. Man found a considerable Advantage by this Union of many Persons to form one Family. They argue against a fair Discussion of popular Prejudices. We begin to think and to act from Reason and from Nature alone. We have something fairer Play than a Reasoner could have expected formerly. It is by a Conformity to this Method we owe the Discovery of the few Truths we know. and feel such refreshing Airs of Liberty. to conform to our artificial Regulations. and consequently. or however it may contradict our own Notions. which in its flourishing State produced them Berries. This is true of several.org/title/850 . and the same Tree. in its Decay gave them an Habitation. The Miseries derived to Mankind from Superstition. but with all that Freedom and Candour which we owe to Truth wherever we find it. and through the Chinks and Breaches of our Prison. which were the Results of these Intercourses. not to know where to stop. it is this. which are Truth itself. This is Political Society.libertyfund. into some Form of which. The Fabrick of Superstition has in this our Age and Nation received much ruder Shocks than it had ever felt before. more extended or restrained. and we derive Advantages from it which are very visible. and taught its Conveniences. we see such Glimmerings of Light. and not in any positive Institution. and through Fear assented to by some wiser and better Men. he therefore judged that he would find his Account proportionably in an Union of many Families into one Body politick. And hence the Sources of what are usually called States. as daily raise our Ardor for more. This Society. and the Children. The mutual Desires of the Sexes uniting their Bodies and Affections. or Governments. the only Measures of Happiness. by a Compliance with our Pride. These Relations. he supplied this Defect by Laws. The great Error of our Nature is. and that we owe an implicit Reverence to all the Institutions of our Ancestors. not to compound with our Condition. and much is it to be feared PLL v5 (generated January 22. and the whole Order of her System. which necessarily depends upon the Knowledge of Truth. and not think to force Nature. but still is by far the Majority in the same old State of Blindness and Slavery. Absurd and blasphemous Notion! As if all happiness was not connected with the Practice of Virtue. Thus far Nature went. the Foundation of Virtue.
how far Policy has contributed in all Times to alleviate those Evils which Providence. He ought. as those of warm Imaginations promise. if a PLL v5 (generated January 22. cureable perhaps by no Skill. Truth. that War was the State of Nature. which gives him Leisure to contrive. to consider Peace only as a Breathingtime. 2010) 10 http://oll. and such a Nurse and Increaser of Blessings. and the only Actions. as a necessary. is in a hostile Shape. to which we have always seen. and to be well satisfied whether civil Government be such a Protector from natural Evils. though it should be spun out by the Wire-drawing Amplification of a Guicciardini himself. as tend to the Destruction of one another. no more than I would in the freer Parts of my philosophical Writings. has imposed. or almost the only View in which we can see the External of political Society. No Discovery of Truth can prejudice them. it may not have introduced new ones. and whether. mean to object to the Piety.org/title/850 . My Business is not with them. To this the Vulgar will always be voluntary Slaves. how far our physical Skill has cured our constitutional Disorders. and consequently the only.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society that we shall perpetually relapse. the mutual Return of Kindness and Civility. holds a reverend Place in the Estimation even of those who are otherwise enlightened. that Relation its component Parts. and still see all of them intent. that Relation which it bears in point of Friendship or Enmity to other States. The glaring Side is that of Enmity. They come purified from the Fire. and truly. The first Part of the external View of all States. the more closely the Origin of Religion and Government are examined. The Ideas of Religion and Government are closely connected. On the contrary. that I am very sorry to say. it presents itself in two Lights. makes so trifling a Figure in History. the Relief afforded in general Calamity. It is therefore of the deepest Concernment to us to be set right in this Point. In such a Discussion. A Meditation on the Conduct of political Societies made old Hobbes imagine. and the Governed. are such. it affords me but little Matter on which to expatiate. War is the Matter which fills all History. In looking over any State to form a Judgment on it. that perhaps has designed us for a State of Imperfection. alas! all the History of all Times.libertyfund. concerning all Nations. The good Offices done by one Nation to its Neighbour. War. he means every sort of State however constituted. tho’ undesirable Consequence. the external and the internal. and furnishes Ability to execute military Plans. the Protection granted in emergent Danger. would afford a very ample and very pleasing Subject for History. far am I from proposing in the least to reflect on our most wise Form of Government. and holy Tyranny. does not afford Matter enough to fill ten Pages. an artificial Religion of some kind or other. the Governing. Both I am sensible have their Foundations on a Rock. and whilst we receive Government as a thing necessary. and Perfection of our most excellent Church. I may the more freely enquire from History and Experience. enthusiastical Nonsense. we shall in spite of us draw in. bear to each other. their Relation as Friends. and even those of a Rank of Understanding superior.  the Support given in publick Distress. But. and by a Prince. says Machiavelli. whilst the real productive Cause of all this superstitious Folly. The second. ought to be the only Study of a Prince. will now and then involuntarily feel its Influence. says this great political Doctor. Having entered a Protest against all Objections from these Quarters. Civil Government borrows a Strength from ecclesiastical. the more clearly their Excellencies must appear. or even useful to our Well-being. and artificial Laws receive a Sanction from artificial Revelations. The first.
The first Accounts we have of Mankind are but so many Accounts of their Butcheries. and from the Circumstances. as the greatest Slaughter is always in the Flight. by which they are formed. with scarce a PLL v5 (generated January 22. that even the Conqueror's Army must have suffered greatly. whose unwieldy Weight was almost alone sufficient to wear down its Strength.libertyfund. and the Devastation of so considerable a Part of the World. We know little of Sesostris. and best calculated. It will therefore be very reasonable to allow on their account as much as. when he gives one Man the Power over many. and with various Success. added to the Losses of the Conqueror. and Madness. and consequently. but that he found in others. he must know. which doubtless were not compassed without the usual Carnage. There were Conquerors. the vast Army headed by this Conqueror. and the Opposition he frequently met. and indeed the End for which it seems purposely formed. and we behold a War continued with much Fury. One thing however is clear. This ends in the Retreat of the Queen. may amount to a Million of Deaths. the Vanquished must have had a much heavier Loss. Considering. if he knows any thing. it will be far from Excess to suppose that one half was lost in the Expedition. the Space he traversed.org/title/850 . and sold them dear. as we have observed before. and of course shed not a great deal of Blood. with the natural Accidents of Sickness. We see an Army of above three Millions employed by this martial Queen in a War against the Indians. All Empires have been cemented in Blood. (for Justin expressly tells us. and then we shall see this Conqueror.000 Men. but a very small Part could have returned to enjoy the Plunder accumulated by the Loss of so many of their Companions. in so distant Countries. If this was the State of the Victorious. who know no common Principle of Action. 2010) 11 http://oll. and all that Oppression by which they are maintained. Whoever considers the Army this Conqueror headed. unprovoked but by his Ambition. a People who knew the Value of their Liberties. and the Dearth and Badness of Provision to which he must have been subject in the Variety of Climates and Countries his March lay through.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Man judged of the Individuals of our Race by their Conduct when united and packed into Nations and Kingdoms. he did not maintain his Conquests) but solely to make so many People. and without any Benefit to himself. The next Personage who figures in the Tragedies of this ancient Theatre is Semiramis: For we have no Particulars of Ninus. but a blind Obedience to the Passions of their Ruler. that in some Places. how severe a Scourge Providence intends for the human Race. he met but little Resistance. the Chronology of these remote Times is extremely uncertain) opening the Scene by a Destruction of at least one Million of his Species. but that he led out of Egypt an Army of above 700. is their mutual Destruction. of this immense Number. that he over-ran the Mediterranean Coast as far as Colchis. All ancient History is dark and uncertain. (though. it must have been this at the least. feel experimentally. all that Devastation. We see the Indians arming a yet greater. Cruelty. and that. and feeble Rage. and in those early Periods when the Race of Mankind began first to form themselves into Parties and Combinations. he might imagine that every sort of Virtue was unnatural and foreign to the Mind of Man. and arms his naturally impotent. without any Motives but Pride. the oldest we have on the Records of History. and Conquests. and great Carnage did in those Times and Countries ever attend the first Rage of Conquest. I say. in those Days. but that he made immense and rapid Conquests. the first Effect of the Combination. with the Hands of Millions.
and wasted the Force of so extensive an Empire. but no sooner had he fallen himself a Sacrifice to his Vices. These were their Losses abroad. and it is not unreasonable to judge that the Country which was the Seat of War. and bury the whole in Blood and Slaughter. which at this rate must have cost two Millions of Souls on her part. an Expedition. the Kings of Pergamus and Macedon. for an unprofitable Superiority. and burnt. and captived. In this Expedition. a PLL v5 (generated January 22. first by Agesilaus. are known to every body. Median. draining half Asia of its Inhabitants. and give the last hand to this Scene of Misery and Destruction. The Armies and Fleets of Xerxes. and before that. in which none of the Sufferers could have the least rational Concern. depended upon it! But these Disputes ended as all such ever have done. 2010) 12 http://oll. and you will agree with me. the Books necessary to make very exact Calculations. and the Losses sustained in them. with all the horrid and shocking Circumstances which attend all Wars. It is little to say. and ever will do. he led an Army of about two Millions to be slaughtered. what Armies cut off. the Disputes of the Greek Commonwealths among themselves. and Persian Monarchies must have poured out Seas of Blood in their Formation. until at last a strong Power arising in the West. and then the Account stands thus: In this War alone. that to form this Hero no less than twelve hundred thousand Lives must have been sacrificed. You will recollect his uninterrupted Series of Success. You will call to mind the Carnage which was made. One is astonished how such a small Spot could furnish Men sufficient to sacrifice to the pitiful Ambition of possessing five or six thousand more Acres. and the unfortunate Event of all his mighty Preparations. in the same Place where his Predecessors had before by a similar Madness consumed the Flower of so many Kingdoms. than a thousand Breaches were made for Ruin to enter. threw away at least four Millions of its Subjects. but the War was brought home to them. in this Retreat. what Fleets sunk. the glorious Stand made against them. one would be induced to believe the Decision of the Fate of Mankind at least. and Sythians. and in their Destruction. must have been an equal Sufferer. which served to employ the more distinct Parts to tear each other to Pieces. and to suppose that the Indians lost only half so much. The Babylonian. to say nothing of its other Wars. and afterwards. form one of the bloodiest Scenes in History. and in this one Spot of the Globe.org/title/850 . that the Contentions between the Successors of Alexander depopulated that Part of the World of at least two Millions. rushed in upon them and silenced their Tumults. without Intermission worried each other for above two hundred Years. I have not.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society third of the Troops employed in the Expedition. and in a Quarrel. nor is it necessary to give more than Hints to one of your Lordship's Erudition. and their Inhabitants slaughtered. what a Number of Cities sacked. Assyrian. You will give a Glance of the Whole. It is a cheap Calculation to say. His Kingdom was rent and divided. You will run over his Battles. that the Persian Empire in its Wars. by Alexander. by a thousand fatal Accidents. or two or three more Villages: Yet to see the Acrimony and Bitterness with which this was disputed between the Athenians and Lacedemonians. against the Greeks. by involving all the contending Parties in the same Destruction. and wasted. did three Millions of Souls expire.libertyfund. their Numbers. (for Semiramis had other Wars) in this single Reign. in a real Weakness of all Parties. But I am content to detract from this. The Struggle between the Macedonians and Greeks. The kings of Syria and of Egypt.
we cannot judge that their intestine Divisions. could not have stood the human Race in less than three Millions of the Species. from the earliest Accounts of them. to their Absorption into the Roman Empire. though the Histories of all Nations are made up of similar Matter.000. the Volsci. and Designs of the Persons concerned. which seemed to shake the whole Earth.libertyfund. In short. and sure. Massacres. and Ruin. added the total Destruction of their own Armies to those of the ancient Inhabitants. that Prince cut off at one Stroke 150. Slaughters which upon all sides consumed more than two Millions of the wretched People. Let us hasten to open that great Scene which establishes the Roman Empire. what a Field of Blood Sicily has been in ancient times. and having many Intervals of Success.000 Men. began by an Effusion of human Blood scarcely credible. the Carthaginians. The neighbouring little States teemed for new Destruction: The Sabines.org/title/850 . This great and unfortunate Prince lost another 300. the Characters. and the Possession struggled for by the Natives. and a Series of Horror beyond the Histories perhaps of any other Nation in the World. consumed less than three Millions of their Inhabitants. were broken by a Series of Slaughters which had no Interruption. But I shall estimate the Slaughters in this Island but at two Millions. which your Lordship will find much short of the Reality. This at least was the case of the Greeks. Rebellions. and a very small Part. that far exceeds it. of the Havock caused by the Roman Ambition. the Hetrurians. therefore I shall only rate them at one Million. I mean those called the Punic Wars. He was at last totally overthrown. The Gauls rushing into Italy about this Time. whilst the Mode of its Government was controverted between the republican and tyrannical Parties. and the Consequences of them. the Greeks.000 Men at Cheronea.000 Romans by a Massacre. are not taken into the Account. the Samnites. and Dream of Power in some one. and both Elements. it were hardly possible to conceive a more horrid and bloody Picture. who knows how to profit of their Divisions. I once more excuse myself in point of Exactness for want of Books. and forms the grand Catastrophe of the ancient Drama. 2010) 13 http://oll. Here we find that Climax of Devastation. And yet this forms but a Part only. and the Romans. and the Havock of the human Species caused in both. All who had Connexions with him PLL v5 (generated January 22. when it is nakedly considered.000 before Cyzicum. They are perhaps exaggerated. the Æqui. and those Matters which are apt to divert our Attention from it. You will find every Page of its History dyed in Blood. and blotted and confounded by Tumults. Actions. These Wars. and their foreign Wars. before the Roman Power prevailed in that Part of Italy. What an Aceldama.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society momentary Shadow. which wasted GreciaMagna. and he crushed to Pieces the King of Armenia his Ally by the Greatness of his Ruin. This Empire. Let us pass by the Wars. and the Subjection of all to the Yoke of a Stranger. Proscriptions. In that War Sylla destroyed 300. In the course of the War he had innumerable other Losses. Assassinations. He defeated Mithridates’ Army under Dorilaus. whilst in its Infancy. if that which the Punic Wars that ensued soon after did not present one. The Extent of this War which vexed so many Nations. The War with Mithridates was very little less bloody. and slew 300. he revenged them severely. You will remember the total Destruction of such Bodies as an Army of 300. your Lordship will easily recollect. really astonishes beyond Expression. for some hundreds of Years.
and those with their petty Neighbours. who ran towards the South into Africa itself. in some degree. But I am obliged to alter my Design. the Vandals. animated by the same Fury. and carried on with equal Fury.200. Ostrogoths. It is always so. But there have been Periods when no less than universal Destruction to the Race of Mankind seems to have been threatened. Such a tragical Uniformity of Havock and Murder would disgust your Lordship as much as it would me. and leaving horrid Desarts every where behind them. Italy. nor from the Suckers that grew out of the old Root ever since. and Spanish Wars.libertyfund. so that I shall only throw the strong Point of Light upon that Part which coincides with Roman History. and I confess I already feel my Eyes ake by keeping them so long intent on so bloody a Prospect. carrying Destruction before them as they advanced. About this Time. Their own civil Wars. by which to measure. When the Goths. nemo exploratoribus obvius. the Numbers he has been a means of destroying have been reckoned at 1. nor many others equally important. was attended by an almost entire Extirpation of all the former Inhabitants. nor Antiochus. Spain. But to give your Lordship an Idea that may serve as a Standard. poured out of the South. is what Tacitus calls facies Victoriæ. Vandals. which suffered as all to the North had done. and Africa. such a Carnage has been made in two or three short Reigns and that this Carnage. the others.org/title/850 . Huns. The merciless Genius of Sylla had its full Scope. a very inconsiderable Spot of the Earth in itself. From the North proceeded the Swarms of Goths. At this Period. fumantia procul tecta. to have proceeded in a sort of Method in estimating the Numbers of Mankind cut off in these Wars which we have on Record. This Spot happened. not upon those with Jugurtha. to become at several times extremely populous.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society shared the same Fate. but was here emphatically so. and presented a Scene of Cruelties and Treasons enough almost to obliterate the Memory of all the external Devastations. and the Huns poured into Gaul. are calculated by some body else. the Sword. great as it is. and to the Banks of the Loire or further on the other. the Gallic. I say nothing of the Loppings made from that Stock whilst it stood. a Stroke which is allowed to have cutoff little less than two Millions of that People. The Butcheries of Julius Cæsar alone. in an indistinct confused manner. I shall observe little on the Servile. But if in this inconsiderable Part of the Globe. it matters not here by what means. 2010) 14 http://oll. another Torrent of Barbarians. you will turn your Eyes on Judea. Yet we have their History but partially. and the Irruptions of the Kings of Babylon and Assyria made immense Ravages. and of that Part only on the Point of Time when they received the great and final Stroke which made them no more a Nation. what shall we judge of Countries more extended. and ravaged all to the North-east and West. my Lord. I intended. and which have waged Wars by far more considerable? Instances of this Sort compose the Uniform of History. consumed vast Multitudes almost every Year for several Centuries.000. to the remotest Parts of Persia on one hand. makes but a minute Part of what the Histories of that People informus they suffered. Greece. and encouraged by the same Success. turned its Edge upon the Bowels of the Roman Republick itself. PLL v5 (generated January 22. Vastum ubique silentium. secreti colles. though ennobled by the singular Events which had their Rise in that Country. The first settling of the Jews here. glutted with foreign Slaughter. the Social. and the Streets of Athens were not the only ones which ran with Blood. if other wellknown and well-attested ones had not given them a Colour. and to supply Men for Slaughters scarcely credible.
I need not mention to your Lordship. by making a general Calculation of the Whole. without a pedantical Exactness. or who have perished in a no less miserable manner by the other destructive Consequences of War from the Beginning of the World to this Day. no exaggerated Calculation. concerning the Consequences of War even more dreadful than that monstrous Carnage itself which shocks our Humanity. I think I have actually mentioned above thirty-six Millions. in the Conquest of Spanish America. and I have purposely avoided a Parade of Eloquence on this Occasion. but how much of these Butcheries are only expressed in Generals. those consuming Famines. But I do not write to the Vulgar. 2010) 15 http://oll. on what you will call a small Calculation. a Conquest on a low Estimation effected by the Murder of ten Millions of the Species. I avow the Charge. to merit a Place in History. not half what the Matter would have justified. but which by their Frequency compensate for this comparative Innocence. To give the fairest Play to every side of the Question. what Part of Time History has never reached. in the four Parts of it. I charge the whole of these Effects on political Society. but something I have said. nor to that which only governs the Vulgar. I have not particularized any more. or discoloured the polar Snow. allowing for Time and Extent. What has been done since. PLL v5 (generated January 22. you will find me not unreasonable. to give your Lordship some Feeling of the Effects of political Society. I shall lay together all those actually slain in Battles.libertyfund. to justify my Calculations from the Charge of Extravagance. I shall draw to a Conclusion of this Part. I should despise it upon any Occasion. I think the Numbers of Men now upon Earth are computed at 500 Millions at the most. I now come to shew. and almost staggers our Belief. just enough. I go upon a naked and moderate Calculation. and Fierceness in human Nature. I don’t pretend to Exactness. else in mentioning these Slaughters. that Political Society is justly chargeable with much the greatest Part of this Destruction of the Species. shall I. add to the Account those Skirmishes which happen in all Wars. without being singly of sufficient Dignity in Mischief. and sacking of Cities. shall I inflame the Account by those general Massacres which have devoured whole Cities and Nations. at a thousand times as much. that not even the Memory might seem to survive of the former Inhabitants. and all those Furies that follow in the Train of War? I have no need to exaggerate. and what vast Spaces of the habitable Globe it has not embraced. I will own that there is a Haughtiness. their Passions. or fed the savage Forests of America for so many Ages of continual War. amounts to upwards of seventy times the Number of Souls this Day on the Globe. therefore for the sake of a general View. I am sure I have not of what is actually ascertained in History.org/title/850 . I shall only in one Word mention the horrid Effects of Bigotry and Avarice. by an affecting Description of the Horrors that attend the wasting of Kingdoms. Besides those killed in Battles I have something. those wasting Pestilences. I need not enlarge on these Torrents of silent and inglorious Blood which have glutted the thirsty Sands of Africa. for my Deficiencies in the other. We have not perhaps spoke of the five-hundredth Part. and what will continue to be done whilst the same Inducements to War continue. it is obvious how much the whole might be heightened. I shall not dwell upon. and I shall presently make it good to your Lordship's Satisfaction. Here the Slaughter of Mankind. So that allowing me in my Exuberance one way. The Numbers I particularized are about thirty-six Millions.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society destroying all the proud and curious Monuments of human Art. A Point which may furnish matter of Reflection to one less inclined to draw Consequences than your Lordship.
without any private Views of their own. (an impossible Supposition) yet the Means that simple Nature has supplied them with.–to an Englishman. 2010) 16 http://oll. Hyenas. many Scratches. It is an incontestable Truth. than that these Nations were different Combinations of People. that these Broils are so frequent. agreed in the same bloody Purpose. and Wolves. your Regulations have done more Mischief in cold Blood. Theseuses. Solons. Cannoneering. I still insist in charging it to political Regulations. Lycurguses. raise of course Ideas of Hatred. or in other Words. Minoses. The Names which distinguish them are enough to blow up Hatred.org/title/850 . have ever done. Mining. a very few Deaths. Tygers. upon their several Species. that this artificial Division of Mankind. In a State of Nature. so cruel. For as Subordination. ye Legislators. have given us also the Means of satisfying them. many Bruises undoubtedly would be received upon all hands. the Name of a Frenchman. or a Tartar. and you will find. Moseses. and attended with Consequences so deplorable. from the first rude Essays of Clubs and Stones. From the earliest Dawnings of Policy to this Day. nay even the Whim and Caprice of one ruling Man among them. than all the Rage of the fiercest Animals in their greatest Terrors. Examine History. the Ambition. into separate Societies. place Men in what Situation you please. a Spaniard. and which make a principal Part of what Politicians have taught us to believe is our principal Glory. but only a few. and Rage.libertyfund. If you would inspire this PLL v5 (generated January 22. Ounces. who still follow her Laws. and have a much greater Proportion of Rage and Fury in their Composition than we have. and all these Species of artificial. How far mere Nature would have carried us. though these agree ill enough with each other. and Politicks. had scarce any other Occasion. which have given us these destructive Views. Bears. consult present Experience. Elephants. learned. Rhinoceroses. and Arms more terrible than ever she intended we should use. are by no means adequate to such an End. the Reciprocation of Tyranny. sufficient for such Slaughters. is a perpetual Source in itself of Hatred and Dissention among them. ye Civilizers of Mankind! ye Orpheuses. to the present Perfection of Gunnery. the Interest. is enough to arm all the rest. But with respect to you. that far the greater Part of the Quarrels between several Nations. of Men. Whoever will take the pains to consider the Nature of Society. will find they result directly from its Constitution. since the Beginning of the World. to the worst and blackest Purposes. the Malice. Numas! with Respect to you be it spoken. an Italian. Bombarding. it had been impossible to find a Number of Men. or Furies. the Invention of Men has been sharpening and improving the Mystery of Murder. Panthers. in which we are now so expert. and refined Cruelty. than has been made by all the Lions. or ever could do! These Evils are not accidental. but owning this. much more a Turk. is requisite to support these Societies. that there is more Havock made in one Year by Men.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society which will cause innumerable Broils. we may judge by the Examples of those Animals.and what is at once lamentable and ridiculous. and even of those to whom she has given Dispositions more fierce. or the Revenge. It is no less worth observing. and Slavery. and Contempt. and called by different Names. Society. Leopards. or allowing that they might have come to such an Agreement. these Wretches engage under those Banners with a Fury greater than if they were animated by Revenge for their own proper Wrongs.
His Speculation is more abhorred than their Practice. and Millions in an abject Servitude. I say what a plain Man would say on such an Occasion. Chains. you wouldspeak of him as a Foreigner. that what is set up in Opposition to the State of Nature. and proper for Mankind. To prove. the simple Name of Man applied properly.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Compatriot of ours with Pity or Regard. Fraud and Tyranny. should preserve itself by trampling upon the Law of Nature. but I must have a very mean Opinion of Institutions where such Proceedings are necessary. never fails to work a salutary Effect. What Sort of a Protection is this of the general Right. It is a Reason. that Truth must give way to Dissimulation. but Age. For my part.org/title/850 . and a Constraint upon the human Mind. and they agree with Experience. Honesty to Convenience. or even expedient in any Case whatsoever to do. All Writers on the Science of Policy are agreed. it needs only to look upon the sanguinary Measures. that these Sort of policed Societies are a Violation offered to Nature. what the best and worthiest Instincts of Mankind warn us to avoid.libertyfund. for one of these. the Necessity of such a Proceeding in such Institutions.and Humanity itself to the reigning Interest. that maugre all our Regulations to prevent it. PLL v5 (generated January 22. and Instruments of Violence which are every where used to support them. Let us take a Review of the Dungeons. The Case of Machiavelli seems at first sight something hard in that Respect. for even knowing so perfectly a Theory so detestable. and Dependence. But if there were no other Arguments against artificial Society than this I am going to mention. You would represent him as a Man: one partaking with us of the same common Nature. that we need no other Trumpet to kindle us to War. and Destruction. when I looked with a reverential Awe on these Mysteries of Policy. at least. a Statesman. could find it necessary. that all Governments must frequently infringe the Rules of Justice to support themselves. with which every Society is abundantly stored. But there is something so benign and healing in the general Voice of Humanity. an Accident to which all are liable. The very Name of a Politician. But no wonder. This natural unpremediated Effect of Policy on the unpossessed Passions of Mankind. by which hundreds of Victims are annually offered up to support a dozen or two in Pride and Madness. Cruelty. that is maintained by infringing the Rights of Particulars? What sort of Justice is this. and those Writers who have faithfully unveiled the Mysteries of State-freemasonry. methinks it ought to fall by this one only. which is inforced by Breaches of its own Laws? These Paradoxes I leave to be solved by the able heads of Legislators and Politicians. There is something so averse from our Nature in these artificial political Distinctions. which I own I cannot penetrate. or the unhappy German. Whips. Racks. Experience. Far from it. 2010) 17 http://oll. He is obliged to bear the Iniquities of those whose Maxims and Rules of Government he published. and Philosophy have rent the Veil. would you not hide that Distinction? You would not pray him to compassionate the poor Frenchman. that any Institution agreeable to Nature. I acknowledge indeed. Gibbets. have ever been held in general Detestation. I can never believe. without any enthusiastick Admiration. appears on other Occasions. and I view this Sanctum Sanctorum. is sure to cause Terror and Hatred. and subject to the same Law. The Whole of this Mystery of Iniquity is called the Reason of State. it has always connected with it the Ideas of Treachery. There was a Time.
Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society It is a Misfortune. till all Ideas of Rectitude and Justice are utterly erased from his Mind. and to Murder. and the Understanding. In the court of Nero a Person of Learning. he can yet possess abundantly of every thing to gratify his most insatiable Wishes. all his actions are just and lawful. “that let a Sovereign do what he will. And in those few Places where Men enjoy what they call Liberty. be what they will. a King is ever surrounded by a Crowd of infamous Flatterers. and all that are subjected to them. Their Persons become Victims of his Suspicions. and Indigence of his Subjects. He does more. of uncommon Capacity. which no political Craft. honest. until it has eradicated every laudable Principle. And in what Manner did this Philosopher comfort him for the Loss of such a Man. 2010) 18 http://oll.” The Palaces of all Princes abound with such courtly Philosophers. The slightest Displeasure is Death. In this Juncture. Axioms.libertyfund. But the Truth is. becomes the most foolish and capricious Thing. and a disagreeable Aspect is often as greata Crime as High-treason. But what did his Council? They found him out a Philosopher who gave him Comfort. and by his Station placed above both Shame and Fear. and of unsuspected Loyalty. can entirely expel from our Breasts. of what is pious.on the Return of Reason he began to conceive an Horror suitable to the Guilt of such a Murder. it is continually in a tottering Situation. to Drunkenness. directed in the same Manner. his Council came to his Assistance. he proceeds to the most horrid and shocking Outrages upon Mankind. that in no Part of the Globe natural Liberty and natural Religion are to be found pure. that let the Want. The Consequence was such as might be expected. merely by the occasional Will of the Magistrate. and a strong Propensity to Virtue. who find their Account in keeping him from the least Light of Reason. just. where all the inferior Orbs of Power are moved merely by the Will of the Supreme. this unnatural Power corrupts both the Heart. He told him. because they are his. Many of the greatest Tyrants on the Records of History have begun their Reigns in the fairest Manner. fair. nor learned Sophistry. so it is infinitely the most general. Yet we have implanted in us by Providence Ideas. to Debauchery. or recede from this Standard. and makes greater and greater Strides to that Gulph of Despotism which at last swallows up every Species of Government. at the same time that it is the most terrible and destructive that well can be conceived. The simplest form of Government is Despotism. of unquestioned Merit. He finds that these Gratifications increase in proportion to the Wretchedness and Slavery of his Subjects. and bravest Captains. This Manner of ruling being directed merely by the Will of the weakest. as it is the most simple. flagrant with the Smart of such a Crime? You have the Matter at Length in Plutarch.org/title/850 . And to prevent the least Hope of Amendment. and heal his Conscience. and free from the Mixture of political Adulterations. Scarce any Part of the World is exempted from its Power. By these we judge. But unbounded Power proceeds Step by Step. was put to Death for no other Reason than that he had a pedantick Countenance which displeased the Emperor. And yet this was originally a great Man. This Form. Misery. He grew every Day a Monster more abandoned to unnatural Lust. When Alexander had in his Fury inhumanly butchered one of his best Friends. Thus encouraged both by Passion and Interest to trample on the publick Welfare. and we cannot otherwise judge of the several artificial Modes of Religion and Society. that there PLL v5 (generated January 22. Rules. This very Monster of Mankind appeared in the Beginning of his Reign to be a Person of Virtue. and determine of them as they approach to. and generally the worst Man in the Society. It has been remarked. In a Despotism the principal Person finds.
all Sense of the Dignity of their Nature. and ruins the People. There are two Courts. and really in a little Time become no better. and they promised themselves a great deal of Security and PLL v5 (generated January 22. were found Men of more Penetration. Then is the natural Violence of Despotism inflamed.libertyfund. the only Remedy by which they attempt to cure the Tyranny. “that to live by one Man's Will. and concluding his Time to be short. indeed it is so abhorred. They hoped. Here then we have the Acknowledgement of a great Philosopher. retains still the Sense of Feeling. and independent of the Countenance of the Court.org/title/850 . The Favourite knows that the Regard of a Tyrant is as unconstant and capricious as that of a Woman. This is. So that by sure and uncontested Principles.both very different from the Interests of the People. is lost in their Slavery. whose Favourites and Ministers are not worse. in Luxury. and so generally detested. all Principle of honest Pride. he loses every Impulse to Action. and have groaned under from the Beginning. as it is near them. it would be impossible that such a Number could ever join in any Design against the general Good. that claims an Esteem by itself. He oppresses. Violations of the Natural Rights of Mankind. What has been said of the chief. and avow that Death itself is preferable. the greatest Part of the Governments on Earth must be concluded Tyrannies. but the Remedy is not so easy. who carry it yet further. we have the Consent of all sensible and generous Men. The Day. he makes haste to fill up the Measure of his Iniquity. they are considered as a mere Herd of Cattle. is to change the Tyrant. so justly condemned. was the Cause of all Men's Misery. in general. but that low and base one of Fear. we shall consider immediately. is true of the inferior Officers of this Species of Government. who discovered. The Consideration of this made Mr. each in his Province exercising the same Tyranny. and grinding the People by an Oppression. and always was the Case for the greater Part. with great Justice. the Weight of Tyranny. Every Avenue to the Throne is shut up. Here the Tyranny is doubled. There is hardly any Prince without a Favourite.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society is no Prince so bad. and worse than the most disorderly Anarchies. which makes a Man a Slave. however debased. by whom he is governed in as arbitrary a Manner as he governs the Wretches subjected to him. says Homer. and detested by all who live under Forms that have a milder Appearance. the most respectable for their Understanding and Fortunes. and in Revenge. To deserve well of the State is a Crime against the Prince. 2010) 19 http://oll. Mankind. the more severely felt. is what infinitely the greater Part of Mankind groan under. For the Gross of the People. How much other Forms exceed this. In all Parts of the World. they confided to them the Charge of the publick Welfare. and exercised by base and subordinate Persons. at last. and assembling the Men in their several Societies. This originally formed what is called an Aristocracy. as an aspiring Quality. whilst he persuades the Prince. that would not prefer Death to Asiatick Despotism. becomes insupportable. that there is scarce a rational Man in Europe. takes away half his Worth. and yet this Species of Government. and to be a Traitor. that an irregular State of Nature is preferable to such a Government. In this kind of Government human Nature is not only abused and insulted. To be popular.” They therefore changed their former Method. that those Murmurs raised by his own Oppression are the Effects of Disaffection to the Prince's Government. are considered as synonimous Terms. Even Virtue is dangerous. but it is actually degraded and sunk into a Species of Brutality. that a Government of this kind was worse than Anarchy. and aggravated by Hatred and Revenge. and in fact. In some Countries however. Locke say. in Rapine. Impostures. and two Interests.
the same base Subjection of the People. In effect.libertyfund. Clergy. in a Succession. yet even here. So scandalously debauched a People as that of Venice. Tituses. High. they have denied them the Liberty of Reason. by the Caprice natural to the Heart of Man. Never was it known. so heavy is the Aristocratick Yoke. are all alike. independent of them. by what a base Soul will think a more valuable Liberty. as the more eligible of the two Evils. Women. But it is now found by abundant Experience. The Tyranny is even more felt. and for that Reason. He holds him fast in his Stye. Poland has at present the Name of Republick. is compleated by their Suspicions. or a Venetian Republick. 2010) 20 http://oll. from the united Counsels of so many able and experienced Persons. as the Farmer does the Hog he keeps to feast upon. who are in general excluded from any Share of the Legislative. which has no Support in the common Utility of the Nation. but a Body Politick is not influenced by Caprice or Whim. differ but in Name. binds faster the Chains of his Subjection. but encouraging them to corrupt themselves in the most scandalous Manner. A Body Politick. as they seem on the Verge of Liberty. and that a People. and their Dread of losing an Authority. there have been likewise the serener Days of Vespasians. but allows him to wallow as much as he pleases in his beloved Filth and Gluttony. If there have been Tiberiuses. be as lovely the next. A Genoese. by not only allowing. whilst it presents a vain Shadow of Happiness to the Subject. it is possible to meet with some good Princes. it proceeds in a regular Manner. whosought a Refuge from the Oppression of its Nobility. that whenever the People have got the least Power.org/title/850 . and Laity. a Despotism. are to all Intents and Purposes. where you find the same Pride of the Rulers. by the natural Avarice and Pride of those who are raised above the others. they have thrown themselves into the Arms of Despotism. is a concealed Despotism. that the little Finger of this Government. from which they are for ever debarred. the Yoke of this Species of Government is so galling. and it is one of the Aristocratick Form. and a Despotism. In one respect the Aristocracy is worse than the Despotism. in the strong Hold of arbitrary Power. or soon attains the Spirit of the whole Body. the same bloody Maxims of a suspicious Policy. Low. The ruling Nobility are no less afraid of one another. never changes its Maxims. And when they have not had Strength enough to support themselves. which is this Day horrible to a Supreme Degree. than they are of the People. its Succession is insensible. Neros. and treated with the utmost Indignity. is to be met with no where else. politically enervate their own Body by the same effeminate Luxury. but personally Slaves. they have shaken it off with the utmost Indignation. The People are not only politically. by the same Caprice otherwise exerted. They are impoverished by every Means which can be invented. The Republick of Venice is somewhat more moderate. by which they corrupt their Subjects. as every Individual of the Nobles has the Haughtiness of a Sultan. They consider their Subjects. became easy and mild in the next. and Antonines. Trajans. which was haughty and tyrannical in one Century. What is left undone. This latter was the Case of Denmark. Men. and every Man as he enters it. that an Aristocracy. either has. and they have made them amends. that an Aristocracy. govern. may. and they are kept in a perpetual PLL v5 (generated January 22. whilst it retains its Authority. as much Slaves. that the Nobles have been obliged to enervate the Spirit of their Subjects by every Sort of Debauchery. Caligulas. but it is well known. as when but one domineers. when twenty. is heavier than the Loins of arbitrary Power in most Nations. this fallacious Idea of Liberty. the People are more miserable.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Happiness. and established a popular Form.
and all Services done the State. as well as in a Court. A Tyranny immediately supervened. It could boast none of the Advantages of a Despotism. they make themselves the most degenerate. He had yet another Farthing-candle to supply the Deficiencies of the Sun. the fruitful Policy of Man was not yet exhausted. unknown even to Despotism itself. 2010) 21 http://oll. and Roman Solidity. and could be less borne in Practice by any who were capable of feeling. the People had Power in their Hands. are more intolerable than the very Excesses of a Despotism.org/title/850 . but by the very Nature and Constitution of a Democracy. But these Abilities were suffered to be of little Service either to their Possessors or to the State.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Terror by the Horrors of a State-inquisition. Thus. instead of growing wiser by their Misfortune. and the Generals PLL v5 (generated January 22. They entered into Wars rashly and wantonly. and the Fruit. who had associated with them for their common Defence. This Form therefore could be little approved even in Speculation. that they are in an infinitely severer State of Slavery.we have seen the Seeds. but none more than this. their Officers were accountable to themselves. and yet this Body of two thousand. my Lord. whether Sultans or Senators. we are come to the Master-piece of Grecian Refinement. In effect. without paying their Liberty for the Purchace. which they owed to nothing less than any Merit of their own. others they imprisoned. Solon. and in general. and it was overloaded with an Exuberance of Mischiefs. Here the People transacted all publick Business. Now. than the celebrated Poet and Philosopher. and all they treated with various Circumstances of the most shameful Ingratitude. The Ostracism at Athens wasbuilt upon this Principle. the Growth. whom we have now under consideration. not by a foreign Conquest. they threw the whole Blame of their own Misconduct on the Ministers who had advised. are looked upon as dangerous to the Rulers. miserable as those Advantages were. and to them only. This was the third Form. are so far from enjoying any Liberty by the Subjection of the rest. in their own Persons: their Laws were made by themselves. and unhappy of Mankind. they banished. and upon any Failure of Duty. began to tyrannize over their Equals. However. we have pursued Aristocracy through its whole Progress. they had secured by this Method the Advantages of Order and good Government. it is no more than a disorderly Tyranny. The giddy People. my Lord. In short. If they were unsuccessful. and the only Use he made of this Power. and the same good Fortune produced Men of uncommon Abilities and uncommon Virtues amongst them. Accident restored their Liberty. a popular Government. for no other Purpose than that they may the more effectually contribute to the Misery of an whole Nation. by those who were capable of thinking.libertyfund. It was constructed by no lessan Artist. being elated with some Flashes of Success. than it overset. not by Accident. The earliest and most celebrated Republic of this Model. a shining Merit is ever hated or suspected in a popular Assembly. Republicks have many Things in the Spirit of absolute Monarchy. for whose Sakes alone we read their History. With their Prudence they renounced all Appearance of Justice. here you see a People deprived of all rational Freedom. much further from any Remedy. was to plunge those who gave it into Slavery. the regular and methodical Proceedings of an Aristocracy. An artful Man became popular. even in the Lifetime of the Builder. and they devolved a considerable Share of their Power upon their Favourite. But no sooner was this political Vessel launched from the Stocks. known by political Writers under the Name of Democracy. or the greater Part of it. In all appearance. and tyrannized over by about two thousand Men. Some of these Men. was that of Athens.
and most highly dangerous to the Speaker. when you observe. I say. and Macedonians. much more did they resemble and even exceed him in Cruelty and Injustice. under the horrid Despotism of the Roman Emperors. as Spectators or Actors. a PLL v5 (generated January 22. until by degrees they had cut off all who could serve them in their Councils or their Battles. fiddling. some to enter into the Service of its Enemies. and could bear no Advice that tended to reform them. lest. dancing. that they coolly and deliberately. even to the most necessary Purposes of the State.org/title/850 . and avowed ones too. nor with more honest Ambition. If at any time these Wars had an happier Issue. but a whole City. Furious in their Adversity. and spending their whole Time. These Orators were all bribed by foreign Princes on the one Side or the other. than to plan the Operations of the Campaign. tyrannical in their Successes. At this time Truth became offensive to those Lords the People. even when they intended a white one.” Yetin that worse Season of this worst of monarchical  Tyrannies. But at Athens. running with a Rage of Folly into the same mean and senseless Debauchery and Extravagance? But if this People resembled Nero intheir Extravagance. and intoxicated with the Flatteries of their Orators (these Courtiers of Republicks. at last arrived at that Pitch of Madness. to be ill received in proportion to the Greatness of his Services. supported eachof them by one or more Demagogues pensioned and bribed to this iniquitous Service. In the Time of Pericles. and idle. by an express Law. but like an Offender who had come to supplicate a Pardon for his Crimes. their Giddiness might make the People condemn where they meant to acquit. and endowed with the distinguishing Characteristicks of all other Courtiers) this People. oneof the most celebrated Times in the History of that Commonwealth. The People. and a Coolness of Temper. luxurious. Discretion. not like a victorious Commander who had merited and might demand the greatest Rewards. They renounced all Labour. His Reception was answerable: “Brevi osculo. & nullo sermone exceptus. forgetful of all Virtue and publick Spirit. The People under no Restraint soon grew dissolute. as one of them said. strike your Imagination with the Image of a sort of a complex Nero? And does it notstrike you with the greater Horror. Spartans. for the Persians. does it not. turbæ servientium immistus est. grown drunk with Pride and Power. and began to subsist themselves from the publick Revenues. he was obliged to enter Rome with all the Secrecy of a Criminal. but to corrupt them further with the most fulsome Adulation. it was no less difficult to deal with them on account of their Pride and Insolence. my Lord. He went to the Palace. made it capital for any Man to propose an Application of the immense Sums squandered in publick Shows. to throw in a black Bean. 2010) 22 http://oll. Some of their bravest Commanders were obliged to fly their Country.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society who had conducted those Wars. And besides its own Parties. the nicest and best studied Behaviour was not a sufficient Guard for a Man of great Capacity. Agricola is a strong Instance of this. dissipating the publick Treasure with the most senseless Extravagance. Yet on his Return to Court. Modesty. It was not uncommon for a General. not one Man only. They lost all Concern for their common Honour or Safety. in playing. rather than abide a popular Determination of their Conduct. The Orators no longer ascended the Rostrum.libertyfund. The Athenians made a very rapid Progress to the most enormous Excesses. When you see the People of this Republick banishing or murdering their best and ablest Citizens. No Man had done greater Things. in this City there were Parties. and singing. formed some kind of Security even for the highest Merit. a Commander had more Trouble to concert his Defence before the People.
and to crown this Masterpiece of Violence and Tyranny. at one Stroke. they disfranchised them. A Republick. hereyou find every Sort of it. Violence. the same Slavery. 2010) 23 http://oll. to be all Tyrannies. a fourth of his People? Or has the Cruelty of that Series of sanguine Tyrants. Ingratitude.libertyfund. and that in the worst Form. hecould not have taken a more effectual Method to do it. for the entire Number of Citizens was no greater at that Time.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society King of Egypt sentthem a Donation of Corn. he could scarcely wish for a greater Mischief. The Distribution of this Bounty caused a Quarrel. they could set no Bounds to it. but a Magazine of every Species. This they were mean enough to accept. Revolutions daily. a learned Nation. eternal Conspiracies. is no one Species of Government. were cut off from a Body of no more than nineteen thousand. to be all alike in effect. than to have cut off. as they approach more or less to the Democratick Form. nay. ever presented such a Piece of flagrant and extensive Wickedness?The whole History of this celebrated Republick is but one Tissue of Rashness. with greater Wisdom and more Uniformity. Rome has a more venerable Aspect than Athens. nothing fixed and established. in which a Philosopher could not venture on a free Enquiry. If perhaps their former Condition did not deserve that Name altogether as well. Not content with cutting them off from the Rights of Citizens. that the five thousand we here speak of. forced into Exile Miltiades. An internal Dissention constantly tore to Pieces the Bowels of the Roman Commonwealth. and we have shewn them. they actually sold every Man of the five thousand as Slaves in the publick Market. or in someslight Circumstances. But suppose we PLL v5 (generated January 22. they deprived of their Share of the royal Donation no less than five thousand of their own Body. As there is a perpetual Change. one rising and the other falling. a warlike People amongst whom a General did not dare either to gain or lose a Battle. Folly. however they may differ in Name. Andthe modern Republicks. and upon a vain Pretence of Illegitimacy. than by such an ensnaring Largess. and she conductedher Affairs. newly and occasionally set up. thesame Tumults. This was a City of Wisemen. and having once begun with an Act of Injustice. Could the Tyrant who wished the Roman People but one Neck. the Majority set on foot an Enquiry into the Title of the Citizens. We are now at the Close of our Review of the three simple Forms of artificial Society. Injustice. Tumult. as an ancient Philosopher has observed. the Caesars. This was the City which banished Themistocles. in which a Minister could not exercise his Functions. you have all the Violence and wicked Policy. my Lord. and allthe Weakness by which falling States are brought to a complete Destruction. the same Factions which subsisted at Athens. Youfind the same Confusion. Florence was a Transcript of Athens. and indeed of every Species of Wickedness that can well be imagined. the same Revolutions. partake more or less of the Nature of those which I have described. and Tyranny. And had the Egyptian Princeintended the Ruin of this City of wicked Bedlamites. could the Tyrant Caligula himself havedone. and poisoned Socrates. Observe. by which a beginning Power must always acquire its Strength. and in fine. They went further. droveout Anaxagoras. so far as related to the Ruin and Oppression of the greatest Part of the World.org/title/850 . starved Aristides. Thiswas a City which changed the Form of its Government with the Moon. in effect. they plundered these unfortunate Wretches of all their Substance. All other Republicks were of the same Character. But the domestic Oeconomy of these two States was nearly or altogether the same.
Yet allowing all this. I think. they had no Part of it. been omitted. After so fair an Examen. but that I fall out only with the Abuse. I need not excuse myself to your Lordship. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!Observe.my Thoughts may become more publick. nor. andtwo or three more of the ancient. It was observed. that these inconsiderable Spots of the Globe have for some short Space of Time stood as Exceptions to a Charge so general?But when we call these Governments free. what Slave so passive. and to owe their Freedom and Happiness to their political Constitution. let them repose in my own Bosom. I pray you. wherein nothing has been exaggerated. let us concede Athens. The Monarchic. I have defended Natural Religion against a Confederacy of Atheists and Divines. and have in their Turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. after so candid a Discussion in all respects. or popular Governments. Aristocratical. 2010) 24 http://oll. what Enthusiast so headlong. or when I shall be more indifferent about its Temper. In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good. the thousandth Part of the habitable Globe. and wanting Understanding or Courage to apply the Remedy. My Antagonists have already done as much as I could desire. that grand Error upon which all artificial legislative Power is founded. and in the Bosoms of such Men as are fit to be initiated in the sober Mysteries of Truth and Reason. or to be free and happy. what Bigot so blind. even more terrible than the Athenian.org/title/850 . if we really thought that the Majority of the People which filled these Cities. no Fact producedwhich cannot be proved. as to stand up in Defence of a System calculated for a Curse to Mankind? a Curse under which they smart and groan to this Hour. and the Time they subsisted is scarce any thing in that immense Ocean of Duration in which Time and Slavery are so nearly commensurate. they must appear in Reality and Truth. In Athens therewere usually from ten to thirty thousand Freemen: This was the utmost. the Freemen in these States were never the twentieth Part of the People. while thousands have. for the Zeal I have shewn in this Cause. Rome. I now plead for Natural Society against Politicians. without thoroughly knowing the Nature of the Disease. When the World is in a fitter Temper than it is at present to hear Truth. what Defence does this make for artificial Society in general. and as many of the modern Commonwealths. enjoyed even that nominal political Freedom of which I have spoken so much already. or concede that their Citizens were happier than those which lived under different Forms. what Politician so hardened. to any honest Man. for it is an honest Zeal. Therefore call these free States.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society were inclined to make the most ample Concessions. for Brevity. and for Natural Reason against all three. and Popular Partizans have been jointly laying their Axes to the Root of all Government.libertyfund. my Lord. when we consider the Majority of their Inhabitants. to give a sober Man a proper Caution against them all. and sometimes to a great many more. But the Slaves usually amounted to four hundred thousand. and regard the Natural Rights of Mankind. In reality. and in a good Cause. that Men had ungovernable PLL v5 (generated January 22. Parties in Religion and Politics make sufficient Discoveries concerning each other. The Freemen of Sparta and Rome were not more numerous inproportion to those whom they held in a Slavery. Forwe should be greatly mistaken. In the mean time. it is merely ex abundanti. though they were taken all together. no better than pitiful and oppressive Oligarchies. Thereforestate the Matter fairly: The free States never formed. Carthage. and none which has been produced in any wise forced or strained. or what you please. to have been.
that it becomes a new and constant Source of Debate PLL v5 (generated January 22. Such a System is like a City. But my Caution can avail me but little. that makes a Man. They appointed Governors over them for this Reason. for I am satisfied that Reasons are like Liquors. There are few with whom I can communicate so freely as with Pope. which made it necessary to guard against the Violence they might offer to each other. that this Junction of Regal. that this has been long a darling Mistake of my own. as can happen in a Society. and Popular Power. how to be defended against the Governors? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Invain they change from a single Person to a few. nice. 2010) 25 http://oll. than to reject some. that hardly any thing more ridiculous can be conceived. which being composed of such a Variety of Parts. and Revolutions. You will not fail to urge it against me in favour of Political Society. and a proper Ballance of the several Powers in such a State. Tumults. and to secure the Gratification of their lawless Passions at the Expence of the general Good. I know to whom I am speaking. and that of all the Sacrifices I have made to Truth. such a Government must be liable to frequent Cabals. When I confess that I think this Notion a Mistake.org/title/850 . Aristocratic. all Men are agreed. You will not fail to shew how the Errors of the several simple Modes are corrected by a Mixture of all of them. this has been by far the greatest. In vain do we fly to the Many. but a worse and more perplexing Difficulty arises. serves only to increase the Danger. their Passions are less under the Government of Reason. But whoever is a genuine Follower of Truth. These few have the Passions of the one. To speak without Metaphor. my Lord. however erroneously. I have purposely avoided the mention of the mixed Form of Government. but the latter way of proceeding is such an inconsistent Chimæra and Jumble of Philosophy and vulgar Prejudice. it must be liable on every Accident to be disordered. I confess. almost as effectually as Bigotry cramps those of the general Herd of Mankind. provided that she is the Leader. He has a Timidity which hinders the full Exertion of his Faculties. and defended against all Attacks by their Multitude. let us search it to the Bottom. examine this last Contrivance of Policy. indifferent whither he is led. they are augmented by the Contagion. it were infinitely better to remain possessed by the whole Legion of vulgar Mistakes. and without Fear or Prejudice. keeps his Eye steady upon his Guide. for in such a Case. if it be properly considered. First then. These are undoubtedly as ill Effects. But Pope cannotbear every Truth. are yet so indeterminate in their Nature. And. and these many of them so necessary to be determined with Exactness. In the second Place. and there are some of such a Nature as none but strong Heads can bear.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Passions. And without considering how near the Quick our Instruments may come. the several constituent Parts having their distinct Rights. and where they stand extremely close. for Reasons that will be very obvious to your Lordship.libertyfund. and intricate Machine. where Trades that require constant Fires are much exercised. the Closeness acquired by Community. where the Houses are built of combustible Materials. and they unite to strengthen themselves. with such opposite Tendencies and Movements. The Case is worse. from its very Constitution. The first has at least a Consistency. Let us therefore freely. and at the same time to retain a Fondness for others altogether as absurd and irrational. instead of serving for mutual Defence. uniform at least. my Lord. must form a very complex.
Each Party. that whilst the Business of Government should be carrying on. and we hear this Request refused. Rights upon which all the others depend. who has a Right to exercise this or that Function of it. it has never any Remission. and Atheism or Treason may be the Names given in Britain. we behold these Rights determined in the last Resort.org/title/850 . and Abuses grow. and as they prevail. and you cannot be at a Loss for the Reason. preserve the Spirit which each Form has separately. and Treachery. The great Instrument of all these Changes. another. This Spirit entirely reverses all the Principles which a benevolent Nature has erected within us. and grow too inveterate often to admit a Cure. Hence it is. all Honesty. The Government is one Day. the Question is. without any Consideration of the Merits of the Cause. a frantick and unmanageable Democracy. though united. and it is owing to this. or destructive Bigotry of the Bonzees. unless such as may be as bad as the Disease. whether concerning foreign or domestick Affairs. now upon the other. and what infuses a peculiar Venom into all of them. the Nobility haughty.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society and Confusion. provided he knows how to chuse his Subject properly. but that this Worthy has already engaged his Injustice to another. And these Questions are constantly resolved. is Party. with as much Indifference as if the most ordinary Favour were asked. and we are not surprised to hear a Man requested to be a Knave and a Traitor. however in appearance peaceable. until they prescribe against the Laws. or how far the Privileges of the Subject are like to be extended or restricted by it. It is of no Consequence what the Principles of any Party. we have all seen. the greatest Frauds and Robberies in the publick Revenues are committed in Defiance of Justice. or what their Pretensions are. We behold daily the most important Rights. You may criticise freely upon the Chinese Constitution. and if anyoutward Considerations were worthy the lasting Concern of a wise Man. all manner of Abuses and Villanies in Officers remain unpunished. such Oppression from Party Government as no other Tyranny can parallel. to what PLL v5 (generated January 22. andobserve with as much Severity as you please upon the Absurd Tricks. arbitrary Power in a single Person. But the Scene is changed as you come homeward. Kings are ambitious. without the least Attention even to the Appearance or Colour of Justice. and the third. Whilst this Contest continues. or what Men have Power to keep their Offices in any Function. 2010) 26 http://oll. a juggling Confederacy of a few to cheat the Prince and enslave the People. A Man is allowed sufficient Freedom of Thought. now upon one side. the natural Affections. whether such a Step will diminish or augment the Power of the Crown. that in all Questions. of Oppression. carries on a Design upon the others. because we have grown up in the constant View of such Practices. of Self-Interest. Thirdly. These and many more Points I am far from spreading to their full Extent. and the Populace tumultuous and ungovernable. and whilst the Ballance in any sort continues. we havesome of us felt.the Spirit of Ambition. the Whole generally turns more upon some Party-Matter than upon the Nature of the Thing itself. into Customs. the several Parts of this Species of Government. the Ballance is overset. merely as the Parties who uphold these jarring Interests may chance to prevail. and even the Ties of natural Society. In a word. all equal Justice. by Time and Impunity. the Spirit which actuates all Parties is the same.libertyfund. You are sensible that I do not put forth half my Strength. not because it is a most unjust and unreasonable Desire. we behold this without Emotion. my Lord.
make a large Part of the History of such of our Families as are not utterly extinguished by them. and Executions. and how silently they passed over Things of the last importance. nay. Sure I am that they are very great Evils. The more deeply we penetrate into the Labyrinth of Art. I could shew. had not made some Infringement on the Constitution. We found. from the real known Consequences whichhave resulted from them. Our boasted Liberty sometimes trodden down. I could shew how vehemently they have contended for Names. Buthow far Corruption. Idiscover the Mistakes in those Plans. and turned our Reason against itself. who by Fraud. or Violence. We scarce ever had a Prince. In these early and unrefined Ages. that they have all of them betrayed the publick Safety at all Times. They form their Plans upon what seems most eligible to their Imaginations. and have very frequently with equal Perfidy made a Market of their own Cause. Thishas happened in almost every Species of Artificial Society. or we thought we found. the further we find ourselves from those Ends for which we entered it. Revolve. In no Country in Europe has the Scaffold so often blushed with the Blood of its Nobility. Confiscations. During the Course of my Enquiry you may have observed a very material Difference between my Manner of Reasoning and that which is in Use amongst the Abetors of artificial Society. the jarring Parts of a certain chaotic Constitution supported their several Pretensions by the Sword.libertyfund. andemploy its whole Force to prove that it is an insufficient Guide to them in the Conduct of their Lives. or Set of Men. I will not presume to determine. the Oblivion of all Duty to our Country. how to set Limits to its own. Therefore Judges were set up. Evils we have had continually calling for Reformation. Venality. and the most abandoned publick Prostitution.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society wouldbe Reason and Truth if asserted of China. at first with discretionary Powers. We scarce ever had a Parliament which knew. I could shew. an Inconvenience in having every Man the Judge of his own Cause. By these we persuaded ourselves we might know PLL v5 (generated January 22. and in the next been a Patron of Tyranny. For else. Res vero nunc agitur tenui pulmone rubetæ. ever precariously fluctuating and unsettled. I wave the Pursuit. We flew to Laws as a Remedy for this Evil. They have inlisted Reason to fight against itself. Experience and Policy have since taught other Methods. And I could demonstrate. I submit to the Condition. I have done with the Forms of Government. Formerly indeed Things had a more ferocious Appearance than they have at this Day. Attainders. Wars.org/title/850 . and hanging upon the arbitrary Determination of any one Man. sometimes giddily set up. my Lord. and in all Times. that the same Faction has in one Reign promoted popular Seditions. in proportion as we have deviatedfrom the plain Rule of our Nature. andthough I have a notorious Advantage before me. and Reformations more grievous than any Evils. my Lord. when it attempted to set Limits to the Royal Authority. But it was soon found a miserable Slavery to have our Lives and Properties precarious. 2010) 27 http://oll. Banishments. that they have had the Opportunity of doing all this Mischief. the Contempt of Honour. But unhappily for us. it is very obvious what a Picture might be drawn of the Excesses of Party even in our own Nation. and Conspiracies. are preferable to the more glaring and violent Effects of Faction. in that Proportion have we increased the Follies and Miseries of Mankind. for the ordering of Mankind. our History from the Conquest. that they themselves had their Origin and Growth from the Complex Form of Government which we are wisely taught to look upon as so great a Blessing. and their own Associates.it has been only kept alive by the Blasts of continual Feuds.
I am however at the end of my Labour. or some Mistake. learned Readings: Eagle stood against Eagle: Authority was set up against Authority. others reverenced the ancient. Then Recourse was had to Notes. and his positive Institutions too. they have adjusted the Means to that End in a Way entirely similar. or the Neglect of some of his trivial Forms. Some were allured by the modern. the Mist thickened. Thus we were brought back to our old Incertitude. an Ægyptian Darknessto the rest of Mankind) the contending Parties felt themselves more effectually ruined by the Delay than they could have been by the Injustice of any Decision. As their End. Responsa Prudentum. which by these Forms and Institutions he pretends to enforce. (uncertain even to the Professors. these Priests of the sacred Temple of Justice. Comments. and Disputes and Litigations are become an Inheritance. others stuck to the Text. Reports.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society with some Certainty upon what Ground we stood. is exactly the same. the learned Barrister reasons upon one side and upon the other. The worst Cause cannot be so prejudicial to the Litigant. and he adheres to them with a Veneration altogether as religious. and have in Reward for all my Toil and Vexation.libertyfund. Glosses. But hold–a sagacious Commander. who are initiated into the Mysteries of the blindfold Goddess. In this Uncertainty. A Law-suit is like an ill-managed Dispute. The reverend Serjeant replies in the Negative. than against the Neglect or Breach of those Duties and Commandments of natural Religion. that the most experienced Veterans in the Profession can never be positively assured that they are not mistaken. PLL v5 (generated January 22. My Triumph is turned into Mourning. as his Advocate's or Attorney's Ignorance or Neglect of these Forms. Let us expostulate with these learned Sages. in which the first Object is soon out of Sight. The Professors of Artificial Law have always walked hand in hand with the Professors of Artificial Theology. Opportunities of cavilling upon them multiplied also. and abridging his natural Freedom. But lo! Differences arose upon the Sense and Interpretation of these Laws. about which there is even amongst themselves such a Disagreement. The Lawyer has his Forms. The Divine thunders out his Anathemas withmore Noise and Terror against the Breach of one of his positive Institutions. Our Inheritances are become a Prize for Disputation. My Cause. I enter the Field. a Judgment in my Favour. You then. and what common. which two Farmers from the Plough could have decided in half an Hour. and new Difficulties arose upon the new Laws. and concludes nothing.org/title/850 . or the Sweat of my Brow? The grave Doctor answers me in the Affirmative. In a Law-suit the Question is. I have used or. not upon the Evidences of the Right. but upon the Observance or Neglect of some Forms of Words in use with the Gentlemen of the Robe. 2010) 28 http://oll. the old were more venerable. in confounding the Reason of Man. takes the Court twenty Years. New Laws were made to expound the old. Are we Judges of our own Property? By no means. and the Parties end upon a Matter wholly foreign to that on which they began. insteadof and. Who has a Right to a certain House or Farm? And this Question is daily determined. until it could be discovered no longer what was allowed or forbidden. inform me whether I have a Right to eat the Bread I have earned by the Hazard of my Life. The new were more enlightened. and retain these three Persons to defend my Cause. The Confusion increased. Some adopted the Comment. in the Adversary's Army has found a Flaw in the Proceeding. what Things were in Property. What shall I do? An Antagonist starts up and presses me hard. as Words multiplied.
for the Reasons I just mentioned. nor confounded it with Chicane and Sophistry. A Point concerning Property. Religion ends.org/title/850 . that the Laws were designed as a Protection for the Poor and Weak against the Oppression of the Rich and Powerful. but then it is true. a trite Topic. because he has changed the Burthen. that I am at full Liberty to defend myself. the Mistakes are the most irretrievable of all others. for many Generations.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society small in Appearance. that Injustice and Absurdity should be inseparable Companions. a rich Man may rob me in another way. and they will answer. as truly at least. and they have brought it into a Maxim. the Science was too deep for me. Justice ends? It is hard to PLL v5 (generated January 22. The Delay of the Law is.for Money is the only Weapon with which we are allowed to fight. But in Political Society. You have excluded me from any Share in the Conduct of my own Cause. Ask of Politicians the End for which Laws were originally designed. and have the whole of my Success quashed in a Writ of Error. but it was too deep even for yourselves:You have made the way so intricate. I cannot defend myself. that you are yourselves lost in it: You err. In a State of Nature. sending me from the Court to a Prison. according to the vexatious and expensive manner established in civilized Countries. It is not to be wondered at.I shift from Court to Court. and from Law to Equity. But the Question concerning a Man's Life. A good Parson once said. If the poor Man is not able to support his Suit. Butwhat could have induced them to reverse the Rules. but dreadful in its Consequences. the whole Force of that Society is ready to complete my Ruin. in competition with Political Society. is the worst Injustice. to be most speedily decided. your Lordship will tell me. De morte hominis nulla est cunctatio longa. there the Determination can hardly be too much protracted. because it cuts off the very End and Purpose for which I applied to the Judicature for Relief. or make Reprisal by Surprize or by Cunning. I am innocent. it is true. and adjudging my Family to Beggary and Famine. that where Mystery begins. and which of its Abuses have not been too severely felt not to be often complained of?A Man's Property is to serve for the Purposes of his Support. frequently exercises the Wit of Successions of Lawyers. Cannot I say. I remove my Suit. is commonly determined in twenty-four Hours at the utmost. Multa virum volvens durando sæcula vincit. I never darkened it with absurd and contradictory Notions. of human Laws. or by any other way in which I may be superior to him. Gentlemen. which is the Reign of God. which ought. Mistakes in this Case are as often fallen into as in any other. has not the Rich as great an Advantage over him as the Strong has over the Weak in a State of Nature? But we will not place the State of Nature. 2010) 29 http://oll. and if the Judgment is sudden. that great Question in which no Delay ought to be counted tedious.equal Uncertainty attends me every where: And a Mistake in which I had no Share.libertyfund. and you punish me for your Errors. I acknowledged it. that a Man of superior Force may beat or rob me. that where Mystery begins. Of this the Gentlemen of the Robe are themselves sensible. and therefore to delay a Determination concerning that. Quite contrary in Case of a Man's Life. I fly from Equity to Law. And if I attempt to avenge myself. I am utterly unable to guess. decides at once upon my Liberty and Property. and to contradict that Reason which dictated them. But surely no Pretence can be so ridiculous. which is the absurd Usurpation of Man. of the Darkness and Uncertainty of your Science. a Man might as well tell me he has taken off my Load.
have the greatest Number of Enjoyments. considerable as it is. it is an invariable Law. Simplicity. and it is no less obvious. We are Tenants at the Will of these Gentlemen for every thing. they have reduced all Mankind into the most abject and servile Dependence. and a metaphysical Quibble is to decide whether the greatest Villain breathing shall meet his Desserts. that those who labour most. I could not wish a stronger. and Equality of arbitrary Judgments. there they work at a severe and dismal Task. In a State of Artificial Society. In a State of Nature. as well as the Theologians. in return. if such they are. Delay. I suppose that there are in Great-Britain upwardsof an hundred thousand People employed in Lead. The most obvious Division of Society is into Rich and Poor. and how great would be our just Indignation against those who inflicted so cruel and ignominious a Punishment? This is an Instance. yet which shock us when they are nakedly represented. strange and ridiculous beyond Expression. they subsist upon the coarsest and worst sort of Fare. whether the Doctors of Law or Divinity have made the greater Advances in the lucrative Business of Mystery. In a word. 2010) 30 http://oll.libertyfund. Folly. as your Lordship's noble House has derived its Wealth and its Honours from that Profession. and affected Mystery of the Law are such. and Luxury of the Rich. and that those who labour not at all. is to find the best Methods of confirming the Slavery and increasing the Burthens of the Poor. Before we finish our Examination of Artificial Society. to make the least Step without their Advice and Assistance. without the least Prospect of being delivered from it. that the Number of the former bear a great Disproportion to those of the latter. or escape with Impunity. that it carries the highest Danger to a Man out of that Profession. and your Candor is the more to be admired and applauded in this. it is a Law as constant and as invariable. Copper. and their Lives cut short. or whether the best Man in the Society shall not be reduced to the lowest and most despicable Condition it affords. have erected another Reason besides Natural Reason. A Constitution of Things this. Tin. Iron. another Justice besides Natural Justice.these unhappy Wretches scarce ever see the Light of the Sun. and the Benefits. that a Man's Acquisitions are in proportion to his Labours. But this Number. and the PLL v5 (generated January 22. how should we pity the unhappy Sufferers. that many who live under it come to admire and envy the Expedition.org/title/850 . The Lawyers. and Coal Mines. They have so bewildered the World and themselves in unmeaning Forms and Ceremonies. I need insist the less on this Article to your Lordship. the Injustice. and so perplexed the plainest Matters with metaphysical Jargon. my Lord. I shall lead your Lordship into a closer Consideration of the Relations which it gives Birth to. which we actually see before our Eyes every Day without being in the least surprized. which result from these Relations. as you have frequently lamented the Miseries derived to us from Artificial Law. enjoy the fewest Things. they have their Health miserably impaired.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society say. If any Man informed us that two hundred thousand innocent Persons were condemned to so intolerable Slavery. We scarce believe a thing when we are told it. The whole Business of the Poor is to administer to the Idleness. intense Fires. Thus by confining to themselves the knowledge of the Foundation of all Men's Lives and Properties. and that of the Rich. false Refinement. An hundred thousand more at least are tortured without Remission by the suffocating Smoak. and constant Drudgery necessary in refining and managing the Products of those Mines. by being perpetually confined in the close Vapour of these malignant Minerals. they are buried in the Bowels of the Earth. of the numberless Things which we pass by in their common Dress. and the Result has been. Puerility.
Friendship are Things almost unknown in high Stations. their toilsome Days. admitting some few Lenities. but their Hearts are torn by the worst. that if it did not make a necessary Part of my Subject. I have somewhere called this Earth the Bedlam of our System. that their Life of Servitude disqualifies the greater Part of the Race of Man for a Search of Truth. To say nothing of those other Employments. Pride. is nothing to what the rest of the World affords of the same Nature. Looking now upon the Effects of some of those Fancies. that. and supplies them with no other than mean and insufficient Ideas. In a Misery of this Sort. says Cicero. are not at all the same Persons. and this is one of the Reasons for which I blame such Institutions. the rich Few find a considerable and real Benefit from the Wretchedness of the Many. are next to proverbial. nine Parts in ten of the whole Race of Mankind drudge through Life. and sleepless Nights. and conduct the Operations of the vast political Machine. These Circumstances are sufficient almost to level their Condition to that of the unhappy Majority. for the Politician will tell you gravely. Power gradually extirpates from the Mind every humane and gentle Virtue. and those who arrive at the End. with the Remains of their Virtue. It may be urged perhaps. in Return their State of Slavery is made a Pretence for continuing them in a State of Blindness. 2010) 31 http://oll. Courts are the Schools where Cruelty. This is but too true. this shocking Picture of the Degeneracy and Wretchedness of human Nature. and of all that they possess. I should pass it by entirely. but there are other Circumstances which place them in a far lower Condition.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society Slavery. their continual Care. and those too but a few. by Fear and Jealousy. that those who find the Means. And yet need I suggest to your Lordship. and insatiable of all Passions.org/title/850 . and Arsenic. And this has hindered me from drawing at full length.libertyfund. has been the real Builder of this respectable Fabric of political Society: And as the Blindness of Mankind has caused their Slavery. in palliation of this. On considering the strange and unaccountable Fancies and Contrivances of artificial Reason. Would any rational Man submit to one of the most tolerable of these Drudgeries. by Avarice. But is this so in fact? Let us examine the Point with a little more Attention. You know from what Originals I could copy such Pictures. This is a Point so clear and acknowledged. which is the severest Labour. As to the first Sort. Millions daily bathed in the poisonous Damps and destructive Effluvia of Lead. Indeed the Blindness of one Part of Mankind co-operating with the Frenzy and Villainy of the other. Copper. by Ambition. Andindeed. The first is of those who are Powerful as well as Rich. which we have at home. and in the most striking Colours. and happy they who have been snatched from that Post of Danger which they occupy. Varæ amicitiæ rarissime inveniuntur in iis qui in honoribus reque publica versantur. Silver. Not only their Understandings labour continually. with all its Baseness and Horror. Pity. and Treachery are studied and taught in the most vicious Perfection. most troublesome. in that Part which is vulgarly thought its happiest and most amiable State. Dissimulation. No part of the Mind has Rest. those Stations of Wretchedness and Contempt in which Civil Society has placed the numerous Enfans perdus ofher Army. Happy are they who know enough of them to know the little Value of the Possessors of such Things. may we not with equal Reason call it likewise the Newgate. and the Bridewell of the Universe. Benevolence. at least. Loss PLL v5 (generated January 22. For this Purpose the Rich in all Societies may be thrown into two Classes. The other is of those who employ their Riches wholly in the Acquisition of Pleasure. for all the artificial Enjoyments which Policy has made to result from them? By no means. and Anxiety.
my Lord. if in all Countries it abridges the Lives of Millions. Life is simple. in whatever Form. or rather turns it into the Nature of a very burthensome and laborious Business. and in this State Men can be sensible of no other Wants. that Civil Society could not well exist without them. that this unequal State is highly useful. is nothing in Balance withso great an Advantage. I have often discoursed with my Friends at large. and Pleasures incompatible with Nature.libertyfund. and the weak and ridiculous Efforts of human Art on the other. and our Peace? Or shall we pass by this monstrous Heap of absurd Notions. Neither is there any Luxury.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society of Honours. and even the Loss of one's Country. Titles. and therefore it is happy. The Mind has its Share of the Misfortune. which are the Result of Luxury on one hand. The Pleasures of such Men are scarcely felt as Pleasures. A dismal View of the Interior of all Civil Society. That without dooming some Part of Mankind to extraordinary Toil. has still made the Many the Property of the Few. and the Rich by their artificial Method of Life bringing worse Evils on themselves. unwilling and unable to search for Truth. and yet more horrid Methods of Cure. Joint-tenant of the Shade. than their Tyranny could possibly inflict on those below them. The Poor by their excessive Labour. and Civil Society necessary again to these Arts. Man walk’d with Beast. Thus running in a Circle. What is worse. Very different is the Prospect of the Natural State. and without End. 2010) 32 http://oll. at the same time that they bring on Pains and Diseases. which are felt but too severely. therefore there is no Slavery. and abominable Practices. So that these Arts are necessary to Civil Society. how such Arts came to be necessary? He answers. On the whole. and daily sacrifice to it our Health. our Liberty. thinking we have sufficiently discharged PLL v5 (generated January 22. it grows lazy and enervate. and never satisfying. if Political Society. where he talks with so much Force of Reason and Elegance of Language in Praise of the State of Nature: Then was not Pride. the Arts which cultivate Life could not be exercised. Vices and Diseases unknown. nor Arts that Pride to aid. if it has introduced Labours unnecessary. shall we still worship so destructive an Idol. The Pleasures which Art forces up are seldom sincere. this constant Application to Pleasure takes away from the Enjoyment. are set upon a Level. But I demand of this Politician. because no single Man can supply the Materials of it. and therefore can form no Distinction in favour of the Rich. and renders those of Millions more utterly abject and miserable. I am conscious. It produces a weak valetudinary State of Body.org/title/850 . and the Rich by their enormous Luxury. my Lord. The lower Part broken and ground down by the most cruel Oppression. Let us now view the other Species of the Rich. much less of relishing real Happiness. and rendered equally ignorant of any Knowledge which might conduce to their Happiness. Here there are no Wants which Nature gives. without Modesty. How much happier are they? The Pleasures which are agreeable to Nature are within the reach of all. and utterly uncapable of knowing. My Sentiments about these Arts and their Cause. and making one Error and Extravagance an Excuse for the other. Pope has expressed them in good Verse. that your Politician will urge in his Defence. attended by all those horrid Disorders. those who devote their Time and Fortunes to Idleness and Pleasure. It has Consequences much more fatal. which are not to be supplied by a very moderate Degree of Labour. Wealth.
and leave the Enforcement of them to the Folly of human Institutions? Willyou follow Truth but to a certain Point? We are indebted for all our Miseries to our Distrust of that Guide.org/title/850 . and they fall. 2010) 33 http://oll. For the free Governments. open Injustice. designing.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society our Duty in exposing the trifling Cheats. The several Species of Government vie with each other in the Absurdity of their Constitutions. and Slavery where they were received. and the Moment of their Duration. both in Effect and Appearance too. Vices which could draw little Support from a State of Nature. and ridiculous Juggles of a few mad. not upwards of four thousand Years in any Accounts to be depended on. because we have been educated under another Form. Turn your Eye next to the Labyrinth of the Law. but which blossom and flourish in the Rankness of political Society. Shew me an Absurdity in Religion. the pretended wise Inventions of Politicians have done the same. to confess that the Cause of Artificial Society is more defenceless even than that of Artificial Religion. But we have said nothing of the other. we labour under a mortal Consumption. after a very short Period. on a moderate Calculation. add to it all those Reflections which your own good Understanding shall suggest. that Natural Religion is a sufficient Guide without the foreign Aid of Revelation. which have spilled such Seas of Blood. and pretended Friendship. which I rather call it. and the Oppression which they make their Subjects endure. and both more universal by many Degrees. have felt more Confusion. But the Slavery has been much heavier. Consider the Ravages committed in the Bowels of all Commonwealths by Ambition. and productive of infinitely more Mischief to the human Race. Shew me any Mischief produced by the Madness or Wickedness of Theologians. by Avarice. into that cruel and detestable Species of Tyranny. as if he were made to disport and play therein?We have shewn. Take them under what Form you please. has been the Means of murdering several times the Number of Inhabitants now upon the Earth. and reduced so many Millions to a merciless Slavery. than that this is of worse Consequences to Mankind. Envy. But these are only the Ceremonies performed in the Porch of the political Temple. For has not this Leviathan of Civil Power overflowed the Earth with a Deluge of Blood. whilst we are so anxious about the Cure of a sore Finger. on what Principle should Political Laws become necessary? Is not the same Reason available in Theology and in Politics? If the Laws of Nature are the Laws of God. that Political Society.libertyfund. resulting from the Ambition and Villainy of Conquerors and Statesmen. If pretended Revelations have caused Wars where they were opposed. If you say. which rejecting both in human and divine Things. and I will shew you an hundred. they are in effect but a Despotism. than the most perfect despotic Governments which we have ever known. Revolve our whole Discourse. our own natural Reason. which Providence thought sufficient for our Condition. and the Iniquity conceived in its intricate Recesses. or ambitious Priests? Alas! my Lord. for the Point of their Space. the Wars far more bloody. and committed more flagrant Acts of Tyranny. and make a strenuous Effort beyond the Reach of vulgar Philosophy. I will undertake to shew you an hundred for one in political Laws and Institutions. during its short Existence. we have given our Necks to the Yoke of political and PLL v5 (generated January 22. that it is as derogatory from the Honour of the Creator. as subversive of human Reason. Much more horrid ones are seen as you enter it. Fraud. is it consistent with the Divine Wisdom to prescribe Rules to us. and perhaps as bad Consequence of these Wars.
So that if we are resolved to submit our Reason and our Liberty to civil Usurpation. those of our Governors the longest of all. shews us what a false Splendor played upon these Objects during our more sanguine Seasons.libertyfund. I quit it without a Sigh. but just entering into the World. you come early to make such an Estimate of Things. posse etiam sub malis principibus magnos viros. with our present Passions. and vindicate ourselves into perfect Liberty. but we leave much behind us as we advance. and it is no Wonder that we should be treated like Beasts. as the Crime we commit in rejecting the lawful Dominion of our Reason is greater than any which they can commit. we have nothing to do but to conform as quietly as we can to the vulgar Notions which are connected with this. But our Misery is much greater than theirs. We set out much in love with both. but that we are bound to follow him exactly. 2010) 34 http://oll.Online Library of Liberty: A Vindication of Natural Society theological Slavery. PLL v5 (generated January 22. my Lord. my Lord. Happy. you should confess all these Things. the better we begin to understand the true Value of our Existence. I can argue with equal. you add a Strength to mine. perhaps superior Force concerning the Necessity of artificial Religion. or than the present Age. You are. yet plead the Necessity of political Institutions. I am going out of it. those of the Priest keep their Hold a little longer. if instructed by my Experience. Posterity will judge with more Candor than I. and the real Weight of our Opinions. etc. we should renounce their Dreams of Society. to have seen the noble Relief given by this Nation to the distressed Portuguese. together with their Visions of Religion. weak and wicked as they are. FINIS Endnotes []Had his Lordship lived to our Days. I am happy that such an Estimate promises me Comfort at my Death. But if we think this Necessity rather imaginary than real. I have played long enough to be heartily tired of the Drama. he had perhaps owned this Part of his Argument a little weakened. and even by my Errors. For my part. and submit to the Sovereign Order without murmuring.org/title/850 . and the cool Light of Reason at the Setting of our Life. and every Step you advance in your Argument. []Sciant quibus moris illicita mirari. If after all. can possibly pretend to. Whether I have acted my Part in it well or ill. The nearer we approach to the Goal of Life. and take up the Theology of the Vulgar as well as their Politics. as may give Freedom and Ease to your Life. We first throw away the Tales along with the Rattles of our Nurses. But the Passions which prop these Opinions are withdrawn one after another. We have renounced the Prerogative of Man. See 42 to the End of it. but we do not think ourselves intitled to alter his Lordship's Words.
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